2020 M1 MacBook Air box

Proud, Unexpected Owner of a French-Canadian MacBook Air

I recently purchased a 2020 M1 MacBook Air to replace my ageing 2012 Retina MacBook Pro. But in an amusing twist of fate, I somehow misclicked during the online ordering process. And unfortunately, as I would come to discover about a week later, that misclick would have drastic repercussions.

For me, opening a new Apple product is always an enjoyable experience. But unboxing this new MacBook Air went a bit differently. I was going through the motions of admiring the body, the slim profile, the 13-inch Retina screen — and then it hit me.

…What the hell is up with this keyboard??

A MacBook Air with French-Canadian keyboard configuration

As it turned out, I had somehow managed to order the MacBook Air with a French-Canadian keyboard layout. That meant shortened left shift and enter buttons, as well as rearranged punctuation keys. My eyes rolled, and my head fell into my hands. I only speak (and type) in English. Was I going to have to fight this thing while typing? After all, writing is most of what I do with computers. If this new MacBook was going to make typing difficult, it wouldn’t be of much use.

Thankfully, that’s not the case, and I’m comfortably writing this very post with this new French-Canadian MacBook. Through the keyboard layout settings in Mac OS’s System Preferences, I was able to restore the US/Canadian English keyboard configuration. That means the rearranged keys are now back where they belong, and my typing muscle memory is no longer failing me. Joy!

Keyboard settings in Mac OS X

Restoring the MacBook Air’s keyboard layout to what it should be

Of course, exchanging the machine for one with a standard English keyboard is a possibility. But since I’ve found a tenable workaround and don’t want to deal with the hassle of shipping the MacBook back to Apple, I’ve decided to stick with it. So, whether out of adaptability or laziness, I am now the proud owner of a French-Canadian MacBook Air. Go figure.


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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Lolol! This is an entertaining post! I admire your ability to adapt in the circumstance. As a kid I wouldve loved this keyboard cuz doing accents was a hastle if you’re using US keyboard and I needed to do a bunch for school. Fun post!

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